Korea defeated defending China by 1-0 to win Gold and the India showed a spectacular performance to defeat Japan 2-1 for the bronze medal in the 17th Asian Games 2014 at the Soenhak Hockey Stadium in Incheon.
In the finals, the hosts Korea edged past the defending champions China by a single goal that came in 3rd quarter. A field goal by Kim Darae in 41st minute was enough to stop last 3 editions’ champions China from 4th consecutive title.
In the hard-fought battle between the two teams for Bronze Medal, the India took an early lead through a successful conversion of a penalty corner by Jaspreet Kaur in the 23rd minute of the games, following a dry first quarter of the game for both the teams.
Japan squeezed off its first goal which came through the stick of Shibata Akane in the 41st minute, levelling the score to 1-1. India’s craving for scoring more goals did not come to an end as Vandana Katariya answered beautifully to the opponents in the very next minute giving a simple finish after being beautifully set up by Rani Rampal in the 42nd minute. With this, India surpassed Japan’s score and advanced the lead to 2-1 before entering into the next quarter.
The last quarter of the game was a challenging session as both the teams played brilliantly well but struggled to sneak in goals. Japan tried to create several opportunities but India’s Goalkeeper Savita and defence didn’t allow them to convert any of them. After the final whistle of the match, the score stood 2-1 in favour of India.
Congratulating India on the medal finish, Coach Neil Hawgood said, “The team played exceptionally well today as per the strategies and I am extremely happy that we have finished with a bronze medal. The overall performance of the team was much better this time as compared to the XX Commonwealth Games”.
Praising the team, the Captain of India, Ritu Rani said, “I am really happy with the way the girls played today. It is through the collective efforts of the whole team that we have won the bronze medal. I encourage the girls and hope the team keeps up the positive spirit so that we can show a better performance here on.”